Chèvre, Grape and Walnut Terrine Appetizer

There are never enough goat cheese appetizers in this world. This one sounds amazing, I cannot wait to try it. Just perfect for summer, to accompany a cool, crisp glass of white wine. Nums.


2 cups walnuts, divided
3/4 cup honey
1 cup sliced red grapes
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces high-quality goat cheese, softened
Coarsely chop 1 cup walnuts; chop the remaining cup of walnuts finely. Place finely chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the honey, 3/4 cup sliced grapes, herbes de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Slowly mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Line an 8-to-10-ounce soufflé cup with plastic wrap.
Soften goat cheese to a spreadable point. Use a piping bag or spoon, fill the bottom 1/2 inch of the plastic-lined soufflé cup (this will be the top) with the goat cheese.
Add 1/2 cup of the rough-chop walnuts. Sprinkle half the remaining sliced grapes over the goat cheese. Pipe or spoon more goat cheese on top of the grapes, covering them completely. Spoon in about 1/2 inch of the walnut-grape mixture. Repeat with a layer of goat cheese, the remaining grapes, the remaining rough-chop walnuts, and a final layer of goat cheese (this will be the bottom).
Fold the plastic over the contents of the soufflé cup. Refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to use the spread, open the plastic wrap and invert a plate over the soufflé cup. Turn the soufflé cup over, separating it from the goat cheese spread. Serve with crackers or bread.

Thanks to Small Bites Big Flavor and Food Republic for the recipe and picture!

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake

I have already posted straight-up lemon, lime, and chocolate versions of the famous yogurt cake, but I am posting this recipe separately because I want you to know that you CAN make it with frozen strawberries, even though it calls for fresh ones. Of course, it’s probably just that much better with fresh, but sometimes the only strawberry patch I have is the freezer 🙂 Thanks to for the recipe, and to for the pic!
Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2½ cups flour, divided
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced; or 12 ounces frozen thawed drained strawberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a bowl combine 2 ¼ cups flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes.
To the butter/sugar mixture add the eggs one at a time, then add the lemon juice. Once the eggs and lemon juice are incorporated, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the yogurt mixture. Next, add the milk and the vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the diced strawberries with the remaining flour. Coat the strawberries in flour and add them to the batter.
Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan and add the batter to the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Nutella Ice Cream — A Scoop of Heaven

Never thought it would make such a difference in homemade ice cream, to swirl a half-cup of Nutella in as it is nearly done freezing. But holy cow, is that to die for!! I realize that most readers will not have access to fresh goat milk (as we do), that makes it even better. Just limp along with fresh cow’s milk and you’ll do fine! Thanks to for the fabulous recipe and photo. We churned ours for a little longer, and it looked like the finest Italian stracchiatella. YUMS!

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream, makes about 1 quart.

1 1/2 cups milk (whole milk is preferred but 2% is good too)
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Nutella

How to make custard ice cream
In a pot combine the milk with the sugar. Whisk together over medium heat so the sugar dissolves. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture in with the egg yolks and stir. Once the egg yolk mixture is tempered add it to the pot of warm milk. Whisk to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens, it should coat the spoon. Pour this thickened custard into a bowl with the heaving whipping cream. Stir to combine. Pour into an air tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer directions for use. Once the ice cream reaches a “soft serve” consistency add the Nutella. Adding the Nutella before this stage can result in all the chocolate settling to the top or bottom of your container. No good—we need Nutella throughout! I found that heating the Nutella (for about 30 seconds in the microwave) made it thinner. This allowed pouring the Nutella into the ice cream while creating more of a swirl effect. Once you’ve added the Nutella, transfer to an ice cream container and freeze until hard.

So simple Figs and Honeyed Goat Cheese

And there you have the recipe — that’s it! As many fresh calimyrna or black mission figs as you like, split open crosswise and stuffed with chèvre that has been sweetened with a tablespoon of raw honey. I try to keep the proportion of chèvre-to-honey at 1 Tbsp honey to 4 ounces of chèvre. And I sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the stuffed figs. Divine! Makes for a lovely lunch, dessert, or addition to tea. Fresh figs are in stores now, and if you can’t find them, fresh apricots or pitted dates work equally well!

Potato Cakes with Chèvre and Herbs


My mom made these all the time when I was growing up. But no herbs, no goat cheese, and no exotic appeal. Now you can better the “leftover mashed potatoes” side dish, with this recipe from Renee at Leite’s Culinaria. Thanks to her for the ingredients and the pic!

Serves 6


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions, and any other herbs you wish
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • 1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and pour in enough cold water to barely cover. Season the cooking water with salt (it should taste like the sea) and bring to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes or so, depending on the size of your spuds. Drain the potatoes, place them in a large bowl, and roughly mash them with a fork or a potato masher. Let cool slightly.
  • 2. Add the parsley, scallions + finely chopped herbs, goat cheese, and salt and pepper to the potatoes and mix until just combined, making certain that chunks of goat cheese are still visible. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 6 hours.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 4. Using your hands, form the mixture into a 1-inch-thick block on a lightly floured countertop and cut it into rectangular cakes about 2 1/2 inches along their long side or, if you prefer, use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out individual potato cakes. You should have at least 12 cakes (and, quite possibly, more). Place the flour on a plate and lightly flour the cakes on both sides.
  • 5. Place 2 large ovenproof nonstick skillets (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Divide the oil between the skillets and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the potato cakes to the skillets and cook until the first side is golden brown. Flip the potato cakes and cook for another minute or so, and then transfer the skillets to the oven until the cakes are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Figure about 2 potato cakes per person.

Pogacsa (Hungarian Cheese Buns or Biscuits)

Our family adores bread, in practically any form. Especially warm bread. In biscuit or bun-size. So this recipe fits us to a T. And it’s a nice remembrance of our dear Hungarian daughter Szilvia, who lived with us in 1996-97. Thanks to The Baking Wizard for the recipe and photo…these will be featured at our upcoming Open House! Nums!


Simple Cheese Pogácsa (Hungarian cheese buns)


1/2 cup whole milk, heated to 110-115 degrees F.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 20 ounces (dip dry measure into flour container, fill to overflowing and sweep off excess to level)

5 ounces finely shredded Gruyère or Gouda cheese, plus more for topping

1 tablespoon salt

2 large eggs

7 ounces (14 tablespoons; 1 3/4 sticks) softened unsalted butter

1/2 to 1 cup sour cream or Chèvre


1 egg yolk

Finely grated Gruyère or other cheese

1. Combine the milk, yeast, and sugar and let stand until yeast is softened, about 10 minutes.

2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer put the flour, cheese, salt, eggs, butter, softened yeast, and 1/2 cup sour cream. Mix on low speed with the flat beater until the dough masses on the blade. If the dough seems dry, add a bit more sour cream. Beat on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be nice and smooth and non-sticky.

3. Line a large baking sheet (17 x 12 inches) with parchment. Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position but do not turn the oven on.

4. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick (no thinner!) on a lightly floured surface. Make a shallow cross-hatched pattern with the point of a sharp knife all over the top of the dough and brush with the egg yolk. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and cut out rounds with a 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch diameter cutter. Use the palms of your hands to cup each circle of dough to smooth the sides.

5. Arrange the circles in rows about 1/4-inch apart. You’ll have 7 rows the short way and 9 rows the long way. Put the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees F. Bake about 25 minutes, until the pogácsa are nicely browned on their tops and bottoms. Cool completely and store airtight.

6. Pogácsa may also be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat to refresh them.

Makes about 60 cheese Pogácsa. 

New Babies at Birchbark!

2014 brought us seven girls and three boys — the ratio doesn’t get any better than this! Our babies are so beautiful this year, just had to share them with you.


They look as good from above as they do at eye-level!



And they love to swarm George at feeding time.



Oh man, that milk is soooo good!


It’s so good, I am dripping milk foam everywhere!


Mom, I want some more!

For anyone in or around Mason County, Michigan, come over and see the babies before they’re adopted out.

Just call us to make sure we’re home!